Title: History of the Modern Styles of Architecture...
Publisher: John Murray, London
Publication Date: 1862
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.
Pp. xvi, 538. Illustrated with 312 wood engravings and plans. Contemporary half morocco over marbled paper boards, gilt decorated spine in compartments between raised bands, gilt lettering, marbled endpapers and edges. Minor rubbing to extremities, light foxing to endpapers, but overall a fine copy. Born and educated in Scotland, James Ferguson was first drawn to the subject of architecture in the course of a commercial venture in Calcutta, where he was much attracted by the remains of ancient Indian architecture. Soon after his return to London, he put down his observations in "The Rock-cut Temples of India" (1845). This led him to undertake a critical and comparative survey of the whole field of architecture in a "Handbook of Architecture" (1855). The present "History of the Modern Styles of Architecture" (1862) was designed as a companion to the "Handbook", continuing his historical survey from the Renaissance to the present day. Fergusson believed that modern architecture, beginning with the Renaissance, was characterised by the revival and imitation of ancient styles, as distinguished from the spontaneous architecture of earlier ages. He argues that modern architecture, if it is to be more than mere archaeology; should resist the temptation to imitate and borrow from the past, but rather build and improve in novel ways on its foundations. (It has to be wondered whether Fergusson, could he have seen into the future of modern architecture, would not have been more content with the perpetuation of the past.) His "Handbook" and his "Modern Styles of Architecture" were later combined into his comprehensive "History of Architecture" (1865), "his real monument. which, for grasp of the whole subject, comprehensiveness of plan, and thoughtful critical analysis, stands quite alone in architectural literature." (E.B. 11th ed.) Size: Octavo. Bookseller Inventory # 21718
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